I’ve been an Ottolenghi fan from day one and have enjoyed both the shops and Yotam’s ascent to being a household name. A favorite (and funny) Ottolenghi memory for me was when I was in London by myself and sneaked off to a movie theater that sold wine and other alcoholic beverages to see Bridget Jones’ Baby. (I knew it would be awful, but sometimes, that’s what you want!) With my Instagram feed as my witness, the best part of the movie was when Patrick Dempsey brought Ottolenghi food to Bridget Jones’ apartment. Well, now we can make that fictitious Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa in our own kitchens because in the newest book from the Ottolenghi family, Ottolenghi Simple, they’ve created a recipe for it. It is extremely simple, can be made in a flash, and plates up beautifully.
One last note — I love the acknowledgements Yotam wrote in this book because he included first a hefty recognition of the work done by his colleagues Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth who were integral to making the book and whose names appear on the title page. Congratulations to all three of you! —Kristina
About Yotam: Yotam Ottolenghi is the author of the New York Times best-selling cookbooks Plenty, Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Plenty More, NOPI, and Sweet. He lives in London, where he co-owns an eponymous group of restaurants, the fine dining restaurant NOPI, and the vegetable-focused restaurant ROVI. Find Ottolenghi on Instagram at @ottolenghi.
For a chance to win a copy of Ottolenghi Simple, respond in the comments section below by December 13, 5PM EST to the following question: What’s your favorite food scene in a movie or television series and why? We will announce the winner in the comments section, so be sure to check back!
Image above: Ottolenghi Simple. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin
Image above: Yotam Ottolenghi
Image above: Yotam and Tara Wigley
Image above: Bridget Jones’ Pan-fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa
- ¾ cup/100g currants
- 4 salmon fillets, skin on and pinbones removed (1 lb 2 oz/500g)
- 7 tbsp/100ml olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 medium celery stalks, cut into ½-inch/ 1cm dice (1¾ cups/ 180g), leaves removed but kept for garnish
- ¼ cup/30g pine nuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup/40g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their brine
- 1/3 cup/40g large green olives, pitted and cut into ½-inch/1cm dice (about 8)
- 1 good pinch (¼ tsp) of saffron threads, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
- 1 cup/20g parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon: finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 tsp
1. Cover the currants with boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes while you prep the salmon and make the salsa.
2. Mix the salmon with 1 tbsp of the oil, a rounded ¼ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Set aside while you make the salsa.
3. Put 5 tbsp/75ml of the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on a high heat. Add the celery and pine nuts and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown (don’t take your eyes off them, as they can easily burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and their brine, the olives, saffron and its water, and a pinch of salt. Drain the currants and add these, along with the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
4. Put the remaining 1 tbsp of oil into a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Decrease the heat to medium, then flip the fillets over and continue to fry for 2–4 minutes (depending on how much you like the salmon cooked). Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Arrange the salmon on four plates and spoon on the salsa. Scatter the celery leaves on top.
Reprinted with permission from Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Photography by Jonathan Lovekin © 2018